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DVDs: It suffers from a lack of bounce.

FBI Agent Rodriguez (Lopez) and his colleagues are desperate to capture criminal mastermind Feng (Walken). The only way to get close to the archfiend is to infiltrate a ping-pong tournament that Feng organises every year in his secret jungle lair. So Lopez travels to Reno, Nevada, to ask onetime ping-pong wonderkid Randy Daytona (Fogler) to go undercover at Feng's tournament... presuming that Randy can recapture his old paddle skills with the help of sage Master Wong (Hong) and his sexy niece Maggie (Maggie Q). Balls Of Fury is an underdog story of triumph against adversity which lazily splices The Karate Kid and Enter The Dragon. The body count in Robert Ben Garant's ham-fisted yarn is surprisingly high, in inverse proportion to the laughs, which are milked from tired physical comedy like the overweight hero concealing a tiny homing device where the sun don't shine so the FBI can track his movements - in a manner of speaking.

Fogler is completely devoid of warmth or charm. We secretly root for Randy's opponents to smash him into submission, so he can suffer an inglorious death at the lips of Feng's blow dart-wielding assistant, Mahogany (Tyler). Aside from a brief fight sequence, Maggie Q is little more than eye candy and Hong gamely spouts his wise old coot's repertoire of muddled proverbs. Walken overacts without shame as the campy villain of the piece, ordering his underlings to "Kill them. We're missing Antiques Roadshow!"

DVD Extras: Balls Out: The Making Of Balls Of Fury featurette, Under The Balls: The Life Of A Ball Wrangler featurette, alternative ending, deleted scenes.

BALLS OF FURY

Cert 12, 86 mins, Universal Pictures UK, comedy, also available to buy on DVD, pounds 19.99) Starring: Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, Maggie Q, James Hong, George Lopez, Robert Patrick, Thomas Lennon, Aisha Tyler.

*****

CAPTION(S):

TIRED HUMOUR - Balls of Fury
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 18, 2008
Words:308
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